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Motivating Supply-Chain Employees to Maximize Productivity

Have you ever heard the expression “People join companies and leave managers?” Having a problem with the boss or management of a company is still the number one reason people quit their jobs. In the supply chain industry, managers may measure success through systems, infrastructure and analytics, but you won’t achieve that success without retaining the right people.

Managers need to not only be attentive leaders, they need to be willing to go outside the box of traditional management tactics. In the book, “First Break All the Rules” by Buckingham and Coffman, they discuss how managers need to be willing to break out of their management rut if they want to engage and motivate their staff. In the book, the authors shared several questions you need to ask to gauge how well you are engaging and motivating your staff. To avoid excessive turnover of your supply chain talent, ask yourself or your managers to think about the answers to these questions:

  1. Do my employees know what is expected of them?
  2. Do they have the materials and equipment they need to do their work right?
  3. Do we offer opportunities to employees to do what they do best every day?
  4. Do I regularly give recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Do I show that I care about them as people?
  6. Do we offer opportunities that encourage professional development?
  7. Do we offer opportunities for employees to offer suggestions and other feedback?
  8. Is each member of our team committed to delivering quality work?
  9. Does the mission of our company make employees feel the role they play is important?
  10. Do we let our employees know that each of them is important to the big picture?
  11. Do we provide regular reviews and feedback to help employees gain a sense of direction and growth?
  12. During the past year, has each member of the team had the opportunity to learn and grow?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, there is room for improvement. However, the answers to these questions can help you identify where you need to improve and what opportunities you need to take to engage your workforce.

These are the touchpoints that good managers use to create an agreeable work environment for their employees. Yes, adhering to processes is important in the supply chain industry, but keeping employees engaged is equally essential.

Frequently engaging your supply chain talent is a great way to help them stay motivated. Here are four great  things you can do to successfully increase both supply chain productivity and employee satisfaction:

  • Communicate!

You need to communicate organizational goals to your employees, clearly and concisely. You also need to listen. And face time is important. If your employees know exactly what you need them to do, they’ll perform better. If they know they can speak up regarding issues, they’ll feel better about working for you.

  • Offer competitive compensation.

Money isn’t everything, but make sure you offer regular raises, opportunities for bonuses or other benefits such as a 401(k), transportation reimbursement, health insurance or paid vacation days. If this type of benefit is too expensive, try incentives such as flexible work schedules.

  • Create a positive corporate culture.

This can be as simple as recognizing employees on their birthdays or scheduling monthly cocktail hours or free lunches, or as involved as creating a company softball team or providing entertainment in the break room.

  • Cheer them on!

Encourage high performance by rewarding it. Programs such as employee of the month or other initiatives that recognize and reward high-performing employees make the recipient feel more satisfied at work, but they also set an example for other employees and encourage them to work harder.

How managers create environments have everything to do with whether an employee stays. If you can create and establish a performance-based culture within your supply chain environment, productivity will rise. And if you’re seeking supply chain employees with the right skills and personality to make it happen at your company, contact ZDA Supply Chain Recruiting today.

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